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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  May 5, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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former secretary of state condoleezza rice will be here. "rachel maddow show" is up next. >> good evening, lawrence. i am so looking forward to your condoleeza rice interview, i cannot express it. >> that makes three of us. >> tell her i said hi. thanks to you at home. when the white house announced today that they would not be releasing any photographs of osama bin laden that were taken after u.s. forces killed him on sunday, the news was received pretty positively across the political spectrum in washington. the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee is one of the few people who have actually see any of the imagery the white house was considering releasing. his name is mike rogers. he's a republican congressman from michigan. even before the white house announcement today, congressman rogers put out a statement urging today that they not be released. he said quote, osama bin laden is not a trophy. he is dead.
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and let's now focus on continuing the fight until al qaeda has been eliminated. the risk of release outweighs the benefits. there is a real risk that releasing the photos will inflame opinion in the middle east. republican congressman peter king has been critical of president obama on practically everything related to national security. he was also the chairman who was unmoved by criticism that he'd be needlessly inflaming anti-muslim sentiment in the u.s. with his radically charged hearings with his committee. even peter king saying he disagrees with the decision, even peter king said he respected the president's decision but it was the president's decision to make and he would quote, not oppose it. the one substantiative and strong objection to president obama's decision came from republican senator lindsay graham of south carolina. senator graham made this argument. he said quote, the whole purns of sending our soldiers into the
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compound rather than an aerial bombardment was to obtain indisputable proof of bin laden's death. i know bin laden is dead. the best way is to prove that fact to the rest of the world. i'm afraid the decision made today by president obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate. that is a, i think, a rational and well argued statement from senator graham. the problem with that argument is that his hypothesis has been tested in the past. his argument that the u.s. should provide photos to indisputably prove that this death happened that was the justification that george w. bush administration used when they chose chose to release post death photos of saddam hussein's sons in 2003. >> these two individuals are particularly vicious individuals. they are now dead. we know that. they have been carefully identified. the iraqi people are -- have
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been waiting for confirmation of that. and they in my view deserved having confirmation of that. >> was the release of the dead photographs of the two sons was that confirmation for the iraqi people that they were in fact dead? here's how richard engel reported on that question for "nbc news nightly news" when the photos were released. one quick word of warning here, richard's report does contain shots of the fairly graphic photos in question. >> no way i'm convinced says this man. i'm 100% unconvinced. we asked others in the store to raise their hands if they were equally doubtful. these men thought the pictures especially the one of saddam's older son shot in the mouth just don't look right. he was known to be thin with a beard. this picture shows him with a swollen face and long beard. people thought the photo of his brother was a closer match.
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why didn't they take the photographs right away, asked this man, before they got all bloated? >> if releasing gruesome photographs of dead bodies was accepted as indisputable proof that the pple in those pictures are in fact dead, that could be a good argument for releasing the bin laden photos now. even eight years ago in that shop in baghdad people had enough awareness of photo shopping technology to dispute a photo. then the good you can accomplish by releasing one of these photos is diminished. you have to weigh that good against any potential bad consequences that could come from putting the photographs out. three years after the photos were released, the u.s. government did something like that again after they killed the leader of al qaeda in iraq al zarqawi. the iraq war has had a lot of strange press conferences. a lot of strange made for tv moments.
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whether it be the made for tv tearing down the tearing down of saddam hussein statue or the well choreographed tours of his palaces. there have been some bizarre scenes. one of the strangest made for tv moments of the entire iraq war was this one. remember this? this was the press conference back in 2006 when the u.s. made a huge show of revealing the photo that was taken of al zarqawi's face after he was killed. somewhat inexplicably officials chose to put the close up in an ornate gold-colored frame. all of the pageantry and puffery around the importance of al zarqawi's death had the effect of making him a much more well known figure in death than in life. the unveiling of the gold-gamed photo was followed shortly thereafter by this.
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>> the sign here says the waiting of the martyr. for the people here al zarqawi is a hero who has gone to paradise. children chase us away from the mourning tent with stones and rocks chanting god is great. here at least al zarqawi is a hero. >> martyrdom celebration for the previously not all that well known al zarqawi. later that same year after saddam hussein was executed, images that were released from that event also ended up doing recognizable harm. a gory cell phone video was leaked of that execution. it featured shiite chants directed at saddam hussein before he was hanged. here's the audio of that scene. we're not going to show you the
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rest of the video, it goes on to show saddam hussein, of course a sunni being hanged shyites yelling sectarian things at them. the release of that video was to say the least not helpful to iraq's bloody sectarian divide at the time. now four years later president obama has the ultimate trophy photo if he wants to make it that of the world's most recognizable terrorist, the man the united states has been hunting for ten years. here's how we explain to the cbs program "60 minutes" today why his decision to is that the images of bin laden should not be released. >> did you see the pictures? >> yes. >> what was your reaction when you saw them? >> it was him. >> why haven't you released them? >> you know, we discussed this internally.
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keep in mind that we are absolutely certain this was him. we've done dna sampling and testing and so there is no doubt that we killed osama bin laden. it is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence as a propaganda tool. that's not who we are. >> that's not who we are. mr. obama went on to say we don't trot out this stuff as trophies. we don't need to spike the football. president making essentially an ethical point of why he chose not to release those photos in saying that's not who we are. but also making a couple of strategic points. one, what he described as -- as very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head. do not become an incitement to
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further violence against the united states or something to be used by propaganda by the followers of osama bin laden. but also to senator lindsay graham's criticism. that indisputable proof be provided of bin laden east death. mr. obama arguing we don't think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference. there's going to be some folks who deny it. releasing a photograph, releasing evidence is not going to quell people who are invested in a conspiracy theory that serves their own purposes. this is something that we can intuitively understand. it is something that mr. obama understands personally from very, very recent experience in a very different context. >> for some reason there's green -- there's a green border around it that had to be photo shopped in. >> this whole border is suspect. i mean if you're taking a scan of something to your point it would be white. >> it may or may not be, but certainly opens up the can of
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worms that there are questions for it. >> joining us now is p.j. crowley. he is the former spokesman for the united states state department. he resigned after criticizing bradly manning. thanks for joining us. >> a pleasure, rachel. >> you are intimately familiar with the players involved in the decisions. what do you think the decision making process was like on this issue of the bin laden photos? >> inside the government there's a concept of strategic communication. we know that these photographs or videos as you just detailed have power. the question is what are you communicating for, what purpose? i'm not sure that the doubters out there, there sure are some are that large a group. what i do know is there are people who aspire to be martyrs out there. in the concept of strategic communication, you don't want to give your opposition something for free. the idea that releasing an
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iconic photo might be used as propaganda purposes might validate that martyrdom psyche in some way i think tilted towards the decision the president made. >> even taking into account the fact that anybody who is a doubter is not necessarily going to be convinced by further evidence. the point i was trying to make with the birth certificate allegory there. what other good could it do to release the photo? >> the president hasn't foreclosed that for example if osama bin laden's number two al zarqawi decides to use this and deny that bin laden is dead, we have the option of refuting him for a larger purpose. we've made an intelligent decision in avoiding the shrine of bin laden. i think we are making an equally intelligent decision in releasing an iconic photo that can only be used by bin laden's supporters to promote and extol martyrdom. >> part of the justification i think for -- what seemed to be
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part of the rational for releasing the al zarqawi photo in iraq, very different circumstances was not just to quell anybody that might doubt he's dead, but to sort of put a head on a pike, in a way. to treat it as a trophy to create either a threatening effect or just to lord it over anybody that might support him that this can be done. it's a different form of exertion of power. >> in this case, the united states had multiple audiences convincing saddam hussein who was still alive at the time, we've got your sons and we can come after you. or convincing the iraqi people that the resistance that was occurring at that time is futile. there was a different purpose to a different audience. ordinarily one would say philosophically release everything you can unless there's a reason not to. in this case because of the unique psyche of al qaeda and bin laden, our strategic objective is to avoid having him
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deified in death anymore than he was already a commanding figure in life. i think the president made the right decision. >> secretary clinton is one of the people who we've been told who argued against releasing a photo. having worked so closely with her at the state department, again, what you know of this administration, what you describe as a philosophical orientation toward disclosure, that you put information out when you have a choice to unless there's a reason not to, i understand that as a philosophical point. i wonder if that really is the inclination. if in matters of national security you feel that the bias is really towards more information not toward less. it feels like a closed world of information for a journalist and a bystander. >> many people have said and rightfully so, that bin laden was a figure, he was a terrorist, but also an idea. we are in a battle of narratives here. one of the reasons i'm concerned about the war on terror, it gives al qaeda something that
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they want. they feel themselves to be holy warriors. they want to be seen like that. we have to be intelligent about how we communicate. some might be susceptible to that message. i think the other point is, you know, for the most part there hasn't been a real debate in the middle east. it's remarkable as we see this transformation, al qaeda has not been a major player. bin laden has not been a major figure. most people say we're focused on our situation and our country and our need to change the government that has been oppressing us for a while. there's no reason to make bin laden a larger figure than he already is. in essence since 2005, the popularity of al qaeda and the visibility of bin laden have been in decline. and i think the president made
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the right decision. >> do you think than given that argument, do you think the president was right to make the sort of formal statement he made from the white house sunday night? do you think he's right to go to ground zero tomorrow for essentially a press availability and to be seen bringing the news of bin laden's death to the place where it will have the most resonance for americans? >> there are twin audiences here. obviously sunday night at the white house he was telling the american people he was also telling the world, this is what we've accomplished. now i think it is trying to help the american people particularly those here in new york come to closure about an event in our history. >> p.j. crowley, former state department spokesman, i have been an ardent follower of yours on twitter and also somebody who i have been looking forward to talking to for a long time. i hope you come back again. >> my pleasure. more ahead on how the bin laden news affects the debate about the afghanistan war. about some of the political news
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that is getting buried perhaps deliberately in the wall to wall bin laden coverage. and robotic exoskeletons.
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after al qaeda attacked the united states on september 11th, 2001, the united states started one war within weeks of that attack in afghanistan and another war a year and a half later in iraq. for u.s. troops there have been
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two signature wounds. the first is traumatic brain injury caused by explosions. the second is injury to the extremities. the torso being protected by body armor. the head protected as much as it can be with a helmet. the extremities exposed to small arms fire, but more often to what is most likely in both an improvised explosive device. for the first two years the typical u.s. vehicle to transport u.s. troops in theater is a humvee. a light, thin skin vehicled unsuited to protecting its occupants from improvised explosive devices. it got better in 2006 when they ramped up the replacement of humvees in theater with a new vehicle invented by force of necessity. by force of what was maiming and killing u.s. troops. it was a mine resistant vehicle.
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the m wrap has a v-shaped hull. there are a number of different types of m raps now. i got a tour a whole yard of them in southern afghanistan last year. they are tough, heavy, thick-skinned vehicles designed to deflect the force of any blast underneath the vehicle away from its occupants. it is frankly a great, great advance over the humvee for u.s. troops finding the kinds of wars they have been fighting for almost a decade in iraq and afghanistan. the standard for them has been raised. it was a great improvement, ask them. this week boeing announced the maiden voyage of its stealth drone. it's called the phantom ray. can fly at 40,000 feet. they say it can fly at nearly the speed of sound. it's an unmanned vehicle. it has no need for a pesky, fragile human inside of it. 9/11 and the wars have given birth to a huge unmanned vehicle industry. more companies have competed
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against one other to develop more than 30 different kinds of pilotless planes. some of them have stealth technology like that boeing one unveiled this week. some of them are armed the first drones were mounted with a single camera. the air force announced its stare system will have nine cameras on it. and stow the military amendments it will have drones fitted with 30 cameras. remember when part of the strategy in baghdad was to get biometric data on whole communities tracking the insurgency and building up a massive database of a who's who in iraq. now what would have been been done with fingerprints and i.d. cards is fingerprints integrated with retinal scans. integrated with facial recognition software. facial recognition software they tell us was just used to positively identify osama bin laden's body after he was killed in pakistan. that technology being used for civilian purposes.
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we had night vision technology before 9/11. now we've got thermal detection night vision technology which they tell us is the difference between two cans and a string and a iphone. companies like lockheed are developing exo skeletons for humans. your flesh and blood human can be robotically enhanced with a exoskeleton that they wear. remember when they breathed a sigh of relief when they were able to bring robots in at the nuclear reactor in fukushima. why do you think our robots have gotten so good over the past decade? the gee whiz technology that we have developed since 9/11 in our two wars and our massive retrofitting of our economy. our massive reorientation
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towards security. i am glad that all or at least most of things exist. i am particularly glad for the ones that keep troops safe. i welcome our new robot overlords, at least until they turn against us. all this innovation and high tech engineering comes from a dark necessity. the post 9/11 security technology accomplishments of our country are an american can do story. imagine what we could do if we put that many resources, that much money, that much focus into technology that solves needs that we have other than war and spying? joining us now is a nobel prize winning economist, a colombia university professor and the author of "the $3 trillion war." we name checked your book on the show last night. i jumped up and down in my office when i found out you could be on our show tonight. >> thank you. >> historically what does it take for a country to reorganize its economy after being at war? >> the big experience we have was world war ii.
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and after world war ii there was a very successful transition. at that time, we were making armored vehicles in detroit and they became -- we restructured that to making cars. we then had a g.i. bill. so that the workers people coming off the fields and coming off the battle fields would be able to be productive members of the new economy that was emerging after world war ii. and finally we had demand. people who had not been able to spend all the money. they were working. they were saving. they helped finance the war. after the war they had all that savings and that created a demand for the new products that were being produced by our factories. that led to this period of prosperity that followed world war ii. now these conditions aren't here
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today. rather than a g.i. bill, we're really cutting back on investments in education. the states are facing real budget constraints universities are cutting back. so we're not really making this effort to transform our economy. >> we do have a new post 9/11 g.i. bill, but you're saying rather than ramping up overall our expectation and our facilitation of people into education, it's being depressed. >> exactly. looking at it from the overall perspective. it took a lot of fight to get the g.i. bill for the iraqi and afghanistan. that was one of the things that we emphasized in the book. we pushed that. i think it was one of the victories that we've had that we were able to treat these new veterans as well as we treated the world war ii veterans. >> how do you think -- you called this book "the $3 trillion war", an astonishing figure. how do you quantify, sort of, i guess the opportunity cost of
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how we responded to 9/11? just how much we redirected our resources into security and spying in the wars. >> there are two parts to this. one is the actual budgetary cost. these are enormous. part of the budgetary costs are the up front costs. the soldiers, the troops, equipment, the munitions. but there's another part that was really highlighted by that clip you showed. it will cost us almost a trillion dollars to pay for the health care costs and disablity payments of those coming back from iraq and afghanistan that are disabled. it's an amazing number. those are the budgetary costs. money that could have been spent by the government for strengthening our education, investing in technology. technology that would have been produced goods that really strengthened our competitiveness. the other part is the impact on our economy.
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that has diverted resources to war that could have been used in other ways. it had all sorts of effects. one of them was that the before the war the price of oil was $23 a barrel. the interruption, the chaos that we brought to the middle east led the price of oil to start soaring after that. and that -- that had an enormous impact on our economy. one of the points i try to do in the book, this book -- what we try to do is show that connection between that and the collapse of our economy that happened in 2008. those two are very intimately connected. something that most people don't realize. what happened is the price of oil went up. the federal reserve had to lower interest rates because all that money would have been spent at home was being spent abroad.
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that helped feed the bubble and that bubble is what has led us to the problems that we have today. >> professor, nobel prize winning economist, colombia university professor and author of "the $3 trillion war." there have been cool r&d and innovation and manufacturing since 9/11 in the security sphere. i'm trying to think of that in a positive way about all the stuff that we can do, but your documentation of what we have spent already and how big this ship is that we need to turn around i think is clearer than anybody else's. thank you for writing this. >> thank you. >> if eliminating osama bin laden was one of the prime reasons america sent troops to afghanistan, what is the mission two days after the post bin laden mission. former republican chairman michael steele will join me.
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the nearly ten-year long war in afghanistan started with rather extreme clarity. we knew who had perpetrated the terror attacks of september 11th. we knew who they were. and we were going to get them. then came more than nine years of shifting metrics and sometimes amorphous policy from washington and continued sacrifice by the american military. the obama administration has restored some clarity to the u.s. mission in afghanistan and pakistan. frankly the elimination of osama bin laden fulfilled a good part of what they say we are doing there.
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if there can be a moment of operational clarity in which to declare victory and get out, is osama bin laden's death that moment? across the idealogical divide we'll go talk to michael steel.
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in his first major interview after taking over the u.s. war effort from general mccrystal in afghanistan, general david petraeus was asked on "meet the press" last august about osama bin laden. and about the importance of the united states getting osama bin laden. and about the connection between that and the afghanistan war. >> is his capture less important today than it was? >> well, i think he remains an iconic figure. i think capturing or killing osama bin laden is still a very, very important task for all of those who are engaged in counterterrorism around the world. let's remember why we are here. we're here so that afghanistan does not once again became a sanctuary for transnational extremists the way it was when al qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks in the kandahar area, conducted the initial training
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for the attackers in training camps in afghanistan before they moved on to germany and then to u.s. flight schools. the fact is that it was the taliban that allowed al qaeda to establish its bases and sanctuaries in afghanistan when it controlled a good bit of the country. that gives big pause, needless to say. that is why, again, this insurgency has to be combatted. >> general petraeus saying the point of fighting the taliban, shoring up the afghan government is that what happened before 9/11 does not happen in afghanistan again. what happened before 9/11 in afghanistan is osama bin laden had protection from the taliban. he was able to set up his training camp there where al qaeda trained for and planned the 9/11 attacks. general petraeus arguing that we have to fight the taliban so bin laden can't set up those camps again. that explanation of why we're fighting the afghanistan war is frankly consistent with what president obama has always said about it. no matter what anybody else has
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argued about why we are still fighting in afghanistan. almost ten years after we invaded president obama has consistently said very narrowly and insistently that it is about al qaeda. about the people who attacked us on 9/11 and not letting them do it again. >> i set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling and defeating al qaeda and its extremist allies. our overarching goal remains the same, to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda in pakistan and afghanistan. how does it make sure that al qaeda and its extremist allies cannot attack the united states homeland, our allies our troops based in europe, that's the question that i'm constantly asking because that's the primary threat that i went there to deal with. our core goal the folks who killed 3,000 americans during 9/11 and who are still plotting
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to kill us, al qaeda, how do we dismantle them, disrupt them, destroy them. >> for all of the other conceivable reasons why we might be in afghanistan for this long, president obama has always spoken about it very narrowly about 9/11, about al qaeda. and now osama bin laden, the founder of al qaeda is dead, which is leading to and bringing to light questions like this -- >> with al qaeda largely displaced from the country, the franchise in other locations, afghanistan does not carry a strategic value that justifies 100,000 american troops and a $100 billion per year cost especially given current fiscal restraints in the united states. >> senator richard luger republican of indiana. he is the ranking republican on the foreign committee. he raised a similar line of critical questions about the cost of u.s. military involvement now in libya. with all due respect to congressman ron paul, you need
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to know that dick luger is no ron paul. dick luger is not like the guy who's against every war. dick luger has not been alone in raising questions about the cost in particular about the intervention in libya and whether or not that was a good idea. our past two presidential elections have largely been about democrats criticizing wars that republicans have defended. it is starting to look like it's not going to be that way this time around. joining us now is former republican national committee chairman michael steel. mr. steel, it is great to see you again. >> great to be here. do you think 2012 might be different in terms of politics? >> i do. it's going to play out as an undercurrent in the debate about the cost to the american people of everything. not just the war, but the economy and gas prices. all of that's going to factor in. i think you're seeing the predicate being laid right now with the killing of osama bin laden, senator luger's comments today at the hearing, and the
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feeling amongst a lot of people not just democrats, for example, or those who have an aspiration to end the war. but those who really look at this objectively and go mission accomplished. we got the guy. the stated purpose has been obtained. one caveat, the reality that luger points out is they have branched out. they have moved beyond the home base of afghanistan. as we do under the president's leadership wrap up our presence there, we have to be mindful that al qaeda is taking different shapes and forms in communities around the country. keeping in mind that the 9/11 hijackers a group of them lived literally 20 miles from my home in maryland leading up to the attacks on 9/11. that mode of operation is still very much a part of their agenda. we've got to be vigilant. >> the relationship between the threat of terrorism and war is
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one that i think people are getting sharper about. nobody's arguing that presence in somalia or yemen means we should start a war in either of those countries. when republicans talk about afghanistan, talk about the politics of this, is there a tension between the kind of argument that dick luger is making? and people like ron paul have been making, and the sort of george w. bush, dick cheney make the world safe interventionist thing? >> it's tension in the gop. as national chairman i got into trouble on expressing a point of view on the afghan war. mine was wrapped around the idea not necessarily the cost of it, but what is our purpose? what is the the goal? what is the road map in and out? and what do we expect to leave behind? the history there is not one where there are a lot of victors who go into afghanistan. i think that that's part of the tension that you're going to see played out and it's going to be
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interesting to see how the republican candidates for presidency juxtapose their view against a gop view that we should continue to prosecute this thing. >> is that the establishment view? >> i really believe it is. keep in mind the other side of that is that the president basically adopted, you want to talk about the bush doctrine, it has been basically inculcated into the obama doctrine in terms of the strategies leading up to what we've seen get played out in afghanistan so far. >> increasing the number of troops in afghanistan. >> so the republican leadership bought into that early on in the obama administration backing the president, remember that time you had republicans standing with the president going we support the president. >> he's tripling the number of troops. >> now you've got that piece having a question mark over it now that the war's over -- not
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the war, that obama -- >> the hunt or bin laden's over. >> obama's done the deed. what's next? >> to me what i see happening what we've been told with no change in strategy from obama, we've got a july date to start to draw down troops. everybody is wondering is that drawdown going to look like this, a steep draw down. this to me buys him political capital to maybe it a steep draw down at which point you're saying the gop establishment will come after him. >> they'll fight that. i believe there will be some within the democratic ranks that will fight that. >> it will split the republicans more than the democrats? >> maybe. you've got some hawks on the democratic side. they're quiet. >> after ten years in afghanistan, nobody's going to support that. >> that curve is not going to be a steep one. you've bot the leadership in afghanistan saying you really don't have to go if you don't want to. that is a reflection of back channel conversations saying look, we don't really want you
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to leave yet. we're not ready for you to leave yet. when are we leaving behind when we do go? a deadline is not necessarily a deadline when it comes to pulling out troops. >> i think people are saying we'll come back if you need us, but we're happy to go. i think the decline will be steeper. >> we will see. >> you and i will fight about it in a friendly way. michael steele, thank you for being here. >> good to be back. tomorrow president obama will visit ground zero in new york city. that has some of his critics arguing about politics. ed schultz has some words of his own for his critics. it would be an excellent for you to tune in for ed after this show. coming up next on this show, a zen riddle, if two republicans indicate they're running for president while the rest of the country is involved in the killing of public enemy number one, do they need to say it again? ugh, my feet are killin' me.
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one thing political pros know is that huge news stories like, say, the death of osama bin laden, provide great opportunities to hide other news. to do stuff that you really need to do but that you really don't want to talk about. on monday, less than 12 hours after president obama announced the death of osama bin laden, mr. obama's former ambassador to
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china john huntsman very quietly filed paperwork to create a political action committee for himself. that's so he'll be able to travel and raise money in the lead-up to formally announcing his own run for president. he took that step right after the bin laden news was announced. knowing full well that bin laden would eclipse all other news coverage of anything else for days. why would you want to run for president without anyone noticing you were running for president? i do not know. mr. huntsman is not alone. former pennsylvania republican senator rick santorum also waited until the bin laden news dropped to announce his fec filing for his presidential race. thus guaranteeing about exactly this much coverage of him officially being in the running. for a long shot no-name recognition candidates like huntsman and santorum, what the bin laden news gave them this week was an opportunity for a soft launch of their presidential campaigns without too much pressure, without too many questions. and it happened in congress, too. house republicans had a
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messaging problem all year in that their legislative agenda sometimes looked less like jobs, jobs, jobs and more like abortion, abortion, abortion. the third bill republicans filed after taking control of the house, hr-3 was a bill to raise taxes on abortion. raising taxes and abortion above all over all other priorities. not great messaging for house republicans. luckily, though, osama bin laden just got killed by a bunch of navy s.e.a.l.s so while the media is 100% occupied with that, republicans in the house picked today to vote for their raise taxes to stop abortions bill. the one they never really wanted to talk about. which is why i just talked about it.
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debunktion junction.
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ken cuccinelli lauded as a star of the republican right, he wants to be one of osama bin laden's 72 virgins in the afterlife. as it says right here in this great piece on huffington post by jason linkins. he wants to be one of bin laden's 72 virgins. is that true or false? true, mr. cuccinelli did pretty much say that today in one of the weirdest tweets i've ever seen in my life. however, although that is pretty much what ken cuccinelli said, that is definitively not what he meant. mr. cuccinelli tweeted this today. you have to look at it. this is what he wrote. how much would i give to be one of the 72 virginans osama is hanging out with since sunday? how much would i give? i don't know. that's a strange question. directly objectively, he is making a cultural reference to the dozens of virgins that are
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promised by the koran to martyrs as their reward the afterlife. that is one of the references he's making. that's a weird thing to want to be. but the second reference he must be making, oh, please let it be he's making this reference is to what was originally a robin williams joke. a joke in which bin laden gets to the afterlife but instead of 72 virgin he's greeted by 72 virginians who proceed to beat him up. he tried to clarify his tweet today and proceeded to make it kind of worse. he wrote, it seems some were confused by my earlier tweet. read it closely. 72 virginians, not a typo. i.e., people who live in virginia. geez, read it closely. okay, reading it closely it says 72 virginans in the first tweet which must also be a typo, only not the typo he thinks it is. yes, ken cuccinelli did tweet he would like to be one of the virgins schtooping bin laden in hell right now.
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amid the news that president obama decided not to release any photo of dead osama bin laden, at least three republican senators claimed today that they had seen the super secret picture. saxby chambliss, kelly ayott and massachusetts senator scott brown. >> i've seen the picture. he's definitely dead. and if there's any conspiracy theories out there you should put them to rest. >> reporter: even though the white house says the photos have not been released, senators including scott brown have already had it shown to them. that true or false? false. after talking to senator brown, that same boston tv station had to publish a correction to their interview, quote, scott brown tells fox 25, the photo that i saw and that a lot of other people saw is not authentic. and that includes the photo seen by senator chambliss and senato ayott. they saw something they thought was a dead bin laden photo but it was not a real one.
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a fake they thought was real but they were wrong. lastly, to help go through the trove of data collected from the bin laden compound in pakistan, the cia has put out an all call to federal agencies for arabic speakers, that true or false? the cia has put out a help wanted ad for arabic speakers to help them go through osama bin laden's hard drive. true. they do need help. nbc news reports today that the cia is looking for arabic speakers to help them troll through the ten hard drives, five computers and thumb drives collected from bin laden's house. this isn't a call to grab the rosettea stones cds and run to langley. don't tell them you just downloaded word lens on your iphone. the people the cia is looking for need to be able to speak arabic and also need a special compartmented information security clearance which is beyond even top secret. and if you are watching this right now, i am guessing you do not have that. guessing you don't have that.

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